Fermented foods are loaded with probiotics and have been consumed as critical part of human diet for centuries. Sauerkraut is the best of all probiotics, and it is the ultimate source of both live enzymes and probiotics. Thanks to the pre-digested state resulting from the fermentation process, these nutrients are readily absorbed by the body.
The eminent doctor Joseph Mercola sent a sample of his sauerkraut to a laboratory and revealed the findings by saying “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”
This means that as little as two ounces of homemade sauerkraut contains more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. A 16 oz jar of sauerkraut equals about 8 bottles probiotics!
Fermented foods have been the foundation of human diet for centuries and their countless benefits are unquestionable. Most people use sauerkraut as a topping for a hot dog. However, its uses go far beyond this! Back in the 18th century, sailors used to eat sauerkraut on long voyages in order to prevent scurvy, a condition caused by deficiency in vitamin C. Morever, over 2000 years ago Chinese laborers working on the Great Wall of China ate cabbage fermented in rice wine.
Sauerkraut is obtained by pickling cabbage in a process known as lacto-fermentation. To prepare homemade sauerkraut, cabbage is shredded, salted, and then left to ferment for a few weeks. The salt draws out the water to form brine which protects the sauerkraut as it ferments. The enzymes disintegrate the cabbage into small and more readily digestible molecules while the lactic acid kills of any unwanted organisms.
Sauerkraut is packed with enzymes that improve digestion and promote proper assimilation of nutrients. Regular consumption helps boost body`s ability to digest foods as well as to absorb the nutrients properly.
Nutritive Benefits of Sauerkraut
- Rich in dietary fiber
- Packed with indole-3 carbinol
- Manganese, potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus
- An excellent source of vitamins B1,B6,B9, C and K
- Rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients
It is worth mentioning that no all sauerkraut is equal. Unfortunately, most store bought sauerkraut doesn’t have the benefits that homemade does. The reason is very simple: it is heavily pasteurized and it has all of the fragile bacteria destroyed. Hence, making your own sauerkraut is the best way to ensure you are getting the most of it.
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
- 5 pounds cabbage
- 3 tbsp sea salt
- Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage prior shredding it
- Mix the shredded with sea salt in a bowl
- Massage with your hands for a few minutes in order to release the juices
- Place the cabbage in an adequate fermentation container and cover, leaving two inches of space at the top
- Cover the sauerkraut with a plate
- Put a glass jug with water on the plate in order to press it down
- Add pressure by pressing it down to force the water out of it
- Keep it in a cool and dark place at a temperature that is 64-70 degrees
- Fermentation depends on the room temperature, but it typically takes up to a month
- Transfer your sauerkraut to the refrigerator after fermenting